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This City is a Body: The Migrant Project

Year: 2009, 80 mins
Code: CW-CityPt1
ISBN: 978-1-921882-04-3

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The project and the film is the investigation of a city by its people. Over four years, CuriousWorks' The Migrant Project invited 50 Sydneysiders with cultural and artistic ancestries from across the planet to collaborate. The resulting story is one of an incredibly diverse group of artists trying to make work together and understand their city in a turbulent time.
The film uses short films, documentary, digital storytelling, music, interviews, dance and fly-on-the-wall footage of rehearsals, forums and performances to weave together a unique picture of the city itself: Sydney from the perspective of its most private moments.

These 50 Sydneysiders, with cultural and artistic ancestries from across the world, collaborated on a series of interdisciplinary pieces, resulting in 4 performances in Sydney and Canberra, multiple conferences and forums, and finally this 50 minute film work. Over this time, the creators explored the difference between a city that asked the newcommers to discard parts of themselves to fit in and a city that invited them to be a part of it and evolve it. It's a unique work – raw and personal…

The film is a showcase of Sydney's untold stories - crossing between many cultures and stories of arrival, racism, identity, movement, survival and belonging - while looks at how collaborative, independent, contemporary art projects develop - all the arguments, the lessons learnt, the new insights forged - it's all there in the film in a very human, real way.

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CuriousWorks’ mission is to subtly reshape the systems of cultural production in Australia, for the benefit of all Australians.

Their work is always about instigating a more diverse, more accessible, more surprising, more imaginative arts and media scene in our home country. They want creativity and innovation to be a part of every day life for all Australians.

CuriousWorks establish long-term, multi-faceted partnerships with those who are working towards the same goals.

They believe the arts and digital media can bring the stories of those in the margins into the centre of our society – for the long-term. However, they believe this must be done through a best-practice model that brings real, positive change to the people and communities that are involved in this process.

They do not document the stories of marginalised communities or engage in short-term programs with them. They work to empower their local cultural leaders to use digital media to represent their own people in their own ways, for the long-term. In doing so, they hope to slowly build empathy and social inclusion within and between these communities and well as those in the ‘mainstream’ of Australian society.

Through extensive, respectful collaboration, they also develop innovative creative initiatives for the stage and screen that give prominence to Australia’s untold stories. The initiatives are multi-platform, in public spaces and aimed at fostering public dialogue around contemporary Australian issues.

Based in Sydney, Australia, their work will always possess the characteristics of the country that inspires it: intercultural, interdisciplinary and clearly challenging its status quo.

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